It’s no secret that lots of celebrities (and ordinary folks too) smoke pot. From Willie Nelson, to Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, Paris Hilton, Charlize Theron and probably 98% of people who are credited on IMDB. Most celebs are pretty open about their smoking and others take it a step further, trying to find a way to profit from this new industry.
Several of the celebs on this list have been marijuana activists for possibly longer than you have been alive, and now they’re looking to cash in and make some green on some, well.. green. After all, there are so many ways to capitalize on marijuana, from paraphernalia like good old fashioned bongs and pipes, to the cool new vape pens, to selling their very own signature strains of indica or sativa.
While most of the names on this list are actors and of course, there are several musicians (even one who is no longer with us), it’s surprising to see who else is about to make bank on the bud. Because marijuana is legalized for either medical or recreational use, or decriminalized in 27 states, plus the District of Columbia, there is a huge market for traditional entrepreneurs with a previous record of successful businesses to get in at the beginning.
12 Bob Marley
The late Bob Marley loved to smoke weed. Recently, his family, along with several investors, launched Marley Natural. The brand will have a variety of products from hemp lotion to actual weed (of course). But, the company doesn’t see what they're doing as simply a way to make a buck off Marley’s name, CEO Brendan Kennedy told Fast Company “We really want the products to be rooted in Bob's life and in his message, and be authentic to his Jamaican roots. We're doing everything out of respect for Bob and out of respect for his vision.” And let’s face it, your vision is a whole lot better when you smoke some weed (and listen to some Marley while you do it).
11 Wiz Khalifa
10 Richard Branson
Mega rich billionaire, Richard Branson isn't in the marijuana business just yet, but it wouldn't be surprising if he makes an announcement about launching Virgin Marijuana in the very near future. He openly smokes marijuana and even asked President Obama for a joint at the White House in 2012 (no word if he obliged). Branson really wants to legalize marijuana and end the drug war, telling reporters "As a businessman, if one of my businesses is failing for a year or two I'll close it down or change tack. This particular business approach has failed for 50 years and it's gotten worse and worse each year, and governments have not changed tack.”
9 Seth Rogen
To clear up rumors before they start, Seth Rogen isn't starting his own line of Pineapple Express marijuana (at least at this moment), but his bottom line is certainly boosted by the ganj. Stoners love his movies and Rogen openly endorses weed. For the Colorado premier of The Interview, he invited his fans to smoke with him in the actual theater, Tweeting, “We are going to do a screening of #TheInterviewMovie in Colorado where I get baked with everyone first, and we can smoke weed in the theater.”
8 Melissa Etheridge
Popular Rockstar Melissa Etheridge, recently ventured into the business by creating cannabis infused wine, certainly taking edibles to a whole new level. According to the rocker, the wine tastes “amazing.” But, for Etheridge, it’s not just about the money (with only 90 cases, it hasn’t exactly been mass produced yet), it’s about activism. She told Bloomberg, “[This venture is a] huge opportunity and [I’m] bringing this to a world in a not scary way, not a drug, outlaw way...this is an American business that really needs a lot of help.”
7 Tommy Chong
For years, Tommy Chong sold his own branded marijuana products, mostly bongs over the Internet. But, in 2004, his business was raided and Chong spent nine months in federal prison. His cellmate was actually the Wolf of Wall Street himself, Jordan Belfort, whom he encouraged to write the memoir, which would ultimately inspire the hit film. In the past 11 years, laws have changed and Chong is now getting back into the marijuana business, but legally this time. He opened up a legal pot store in Colorado and is again endorsing all sorts of accessories, from Chongwater to Smoke Swipes (a wipe that gets the sticky icky scent off your clothes). In 2014, he told Forbes “I had to go through some trials and tribulations. But now, I’m going to be the Sam Walton of pot.”
6 Kevin Smith
Director/writer/actor Kevin Smith wasn't a big pot smoker, until Seth Rogen reportedly introduced him to some killer bud while filming Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Smith is in the marijuana business in a very unique way, tying in a movie promotion with custom strains of weed, sold at the Buds & Roses medical dispensary in Studio City for his 2014 film Tusk. While we've seen endless cross promotion with movies and products, this is the first of its kind. Tusk stars Justin Long as a podcaster who turns into a walrus. Sounds like Smith was smoking something when he came up with that idea. Either way, according to many, the marketing scheme sounds like a better idea than the film itself.
5 Dick Wolf
Creator of the Law and Order franchises and Chicago Fire, Dick Wolf has invested $1.5 million in Digipath, a company that provides lab testing and marijuana education services. The stock is currently trading OTC, which means it isn't on a regular stock exchange like the NYSE or the NASDAQ. Plus, the owner of Digipath is known for some dicey schemes. While there's a lot of money to be made in the marijuana business, Wolf might be the only marijuana investor to ever lose money, as the stock is currently trading at just three cents per share.
4 Woody Harrelson
3 Heather Donahue
The name Heather Donahue might not sound very familiar to you, but you definitely know her as the star of the 1999 film, The Blair Witch Project. Despite the success of that film, Donahue’s acting career didn't really go as planned and she gave away all of her possessions and started anew as a medical marijuana grower. Donahue documents her journey in her 2012 memoir, Grow Girl. After the feds busted a friend of hers, the actress got scared and left the business, but she remains an advocate for legalization to this day.
2 Snoop Dogg
Snoop Lion, better known as Snoop Dogg, isn't shy about his love of the sticky icky. He has his name on many marijuana products, including actual marijuana. He also has a signature vaporizer pen, which was created in partnership with Grenco. The rapper has found vaporizer pens to be very practical, saying, “What's fly about the vaporizer movement is that it's clean and convenient. Launching my custom G Pen is a great way to kick off the business partnership with Grenco Science.” The pen is apparently very popular in France as well. Snoop Chien?
1 Bethenny Frankel
Skinnygirl entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel is launching a marijuana line in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, basically all the states that allow recreational marijuana legally. In December, Bethenny was doing research in Aspen and Tweeted “OMG it's the craziest thing to see marijuana legal in Aspen. People walking into pot stores like it's the @Gap #prohibitiondone.” According to Us Weekly, the Skinnygirl strain will be designed not to give smokers the munchies. In states where marijuana still isn't legal yet, you can at least raise a glass of Skinnygirl Margarita to that.